Posts found under: language development

Ask your child question

why?

Asking questions while reading to your child is not only great for encouraging your child to interact with the book, but it is also extremely effective in developing his ability to comprehend what he is reading. You see, if our main objective in “reading” is getting our child to “sound out” words, we have missed the boat entirely. Even children who can decode words and “read” with great fluency still might not be able to comprehend what they are reading. If a child can’t comprehend what he is reading, there really is no point to reading at all!

While your child is a baby, ask him questions such as, “Do you see the cat?” while pointing at the picture of the cat. This will not only develop his vocabulary, it will also encourage him to interact with the book that he is reading. As he gets older, ask him to point to things in the book himself and make the noises of the animals he sees.

Once your child is about 2 or 3-years of age, begin asking questions before, during, and after reading the book. Show your child the cover of the book and ask him what he thinks it is going to be about (predicting). While reading, ask him what he thinks is going to happen or why he thinks a character made a particular choice (inferring). If a character is depicting a strong emotion, identify that emotion and ask your child if he has ever felt that way (connecting). At the end of the book, ask if his prediction(s) came true. Afterwards, ask him to tell you what he remembered happening in the book (summarizing).

Modifying each of these techniques during read-alouds to meet the developmental stage of your child is a great way to promote and increase reading comprehension!

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Testimonial from Holistic Bilingual Program

Reading habit start from young. With research showing that the best ways to develop bilingualism being through early exposure, many parents are starting to realize that such learning should not be simply confined to a pre-school setting.

With children spending most of their pre-school time at home, engaging learning aids are essential in supporting your child’s holistic language development needs. Designed to be concise, attention-grabbing and interactive, children are expected to not only develop language competency in both English and Chinese after going through our Holistic Bilingual Program, but also a strong desire for learning.

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Why teach phonics?

why teach phonics?

This is not to say that you should not teach your child phonics. Teaching whole words is never meant to replace a phonics‐based approach to reading.

Why teach phonics?
Whether or not a child learns some first words by sight, there will come a point when she needs to know the sounds made by the letters of the alphabet. In order to progress to the level of a competent reader (with a vocabulary of 50‐75,000 words), the ability to sound out new words is a must.
Around the world, whenever phonics is removed from the reading curriculum, literacy rates go down.

Holistic readers are indeed handicapped by the way they are taught to read. They are taught to look at words as whole pictures, which means that they are not bound to look at a word from left to right. They simply look for something in the word‐picture that will remind them of what the word is. Thus they may actually look at a word from right to left, which accounts for the tendency of dyslexics to
reverse letters and read words backwards.

Phonics lessons have also been shown to work wonders for children beginning school with poor reading skills. In 2005, psychologists Rhona Johnston and Joyce Watson published the results of a seven‐year longitudinal study into the reading abilities of Scottish schoolchildren. Comparing a group of first graders in a phonics based reading program to two groups enrolled in whole‐language programs, they concluded:

At the end of the 16‐week training period, the [phonics] group was reading words around 7 months ahead of chronological age, and was 7 months ahead of the other two groups.

The [phonics] group’s spelling was also 7 months ahead of chronological age, and was around 8 to 9 months ahead of the two [other] groups.

These groups were spelling 2 to 3 months behind chronological age. The [phonics] group also showed a significant advantage in ability to identify phonemes in spoken words.

Whole language is often pitted against phonics – but that needn’t be the case. You and your child can enjoy what each have to offer. Since your child will naturally learn her first words by sight, you can take advantage of the time when her memory is at its most powerful to teach her a large numbers of sight words. You will be amazed at how smart your baby is, as she begins showing that she can read,even before she is able to talk.

At age two or even younger, you can introduce your child to phonics. Play letter games with him, building words and asking him to see if he can. Sound out any real as well as nonsense words you each build. Most toddlers love word games of this sort, and find the sounds of the nonsense words particularly hilarious!

Once your child becomes a skilled reader, she will naturally blend her knowledge of spellings and sounds to make reading most efficient. The strengthening of the neural pathways for reading, and knowledge of whole words gained in babyhood will always be an asset.

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Raise a Child Who Loves to Read

Raise a Reader LearningTech

Raise a Child Who Loves to Read

1. Read to your child from the earliest age.

And not just at bedtime. Buy board books and cloth books as some of your child’s first toys. Carry them around with snacks in the diaper bag. Create “cozy time,” a ritual of connection in which you both associate love and cuddling with reading. Any time either of you needs a break, grab a book and read to your child. Post tantrum, during lunch, after school, while you have your coffee on Sunday, any time can be cozy time.

2. Begin visiting the library regularly

…by the time your child is two and she may well prefer reading to any other activity. Use the time in the library to read to your child as well as to select books. My kids would never sit still at library “story times,” but if your child likes them, by all means go. Write down the names of the books you check out if your library can’t give you a printout, so you can keep track of returning them on time. Keep library books on a separate shelf in the living room or kitchen so you don’t lose them, and so you can always easily find something new to read. (If you don’t take them out of the house, you won’t lose them.)

Supervising a toddler and perusing bookshelves is always a challenge; it helps if you can develop a list of authors and books so you can find good ones easily. Librarians usually have a list of favorite books for various ages, and other parents and kids are always a good source of suggestions.

3. Read to your child as often as possible.

Children could really participate in meals, reading to them during lunch or an early dinner (when the other parent isn’t yet home from work) entertained them enough to keep them sitting.  This is very different from putting kids in front of a screen while they eat. Then, they stare at the screen as they unconsciously put things in their mouth. Being read to is more like listening to the radio; they can look at their food and savor it as they listen, glancing occasionally at the pictures you hold up.

4. Don’t push your child to learn to read.

Most children learn to read naturally once they develop the preliminary skills. Your goal is not to help him sound out words, but to encourage a love of books, both pictures and stories. Teaching him to read may take all the fun out of reading. If you push him, he’ll feel put on the spot, and he’ll feel dumb. That feeling will last his whole life, and it won’t help him like reading.

If you notice that your child seems to have a hard time recognizing letters, or confuses letters, or can’t sound out words, or can’t recognize words that he has seen many times before, it is possible that he has a learning difference such as dyslexia. Discuss your concern with your child’s school and ask to speak to their learning specialist, who should be experienced in diagnosis and early intervention.

5. Don’t stop reading to him once he learns to read.

Read to him every step of the way, for as long as he’ll let you. Continuing to read to him will keep him interested as his skills develop. And it gives you lots of fodder for conversations about values and choices.

Parents often complain that their early readers CAN read, but just don’t seem interested in doing so. Most kids go through this stage, but you can help to keep it a brief one. The child’s problem, of course, is that he can read simple books, but his imagination craves more developed plots and characters. Those books are agonizing work, with too many words he doesn’t know, and the labor distracts him from the story. He needs his parents to keep reading to him, to keep him fascinated with the secrets of books and motivated to become a proficient reader.

At this vulnerable stage, it is well worth the extra time to track down books he can read and will find exciting. Picture books with lots of words work well, since he can use the pictures to help him stay interested and figure out the words. Soon, through his work in school, as well as the books he picks up at home, his reading skills will catch up with his appetite for books. Within a few months, he’ll be able to handle simple chapter books. At that point, look for series books, which often lure kids on to the next book and the next.

6. Ritualize daily reading time.

Set up a “cozy reading time” every day. This can be a perfect chill-out time after school, or after lunch in the summer, or a wind-down time at the end of the evening. It’s amazing how motivated kids are to read if this allows them to stay up a little later. We negotiated a half hour later bedtime that our first graders were ready for anyway, as long as it was spent in bed reading a book.

Some six year olds are just so tired by the end of the day, however, that reading is simply too much work for them then. Until your child is ready for bedtime reading, try setting up his cozy reading time while you make dinner, after homework is done. The only downside to this is that you’ll need to scrape out a half hour to start him off at what is probably your busiest time of the day.

7. Help her tackle the next level.

Pick a book she can read, but that is a bit harder than she might choose on her own — a simple chapter book, rather than a picture book, for example. Read together until you have to answer the phone or start dinner, but a minimum of a quarter of the book, so your child is hooked. Then tell her it’s time for her read-alone time. It’s her choice. Does she want to keep reading the book you’ve just gotten her into, or read something else? Most kids grab the book and finish it themselves. (If she doesn’t, you may need to drop back a level to a slightly simpler book.) Keep choosing engrossing, slightly harder books.

8. Help him improve his reading by alternating pages with him

…during your read-aloud time. But if he stumbles, supply the word. Don’t make him stop and sound things out; your goal is to keep him excited about the book by moving forward with the story. I recommend this only for limited periods of time – it tires kids out — and I recommend that you not be rigid about enforcing your child’s participation (in other words, have them do every third page, or fourth). If you take the fun out of reading with him, you’ve done more harm than good.

9. Try smart comics for reluctant readers.

Some kids get a terrific jump start from comics, which are less intimidating to them than chapter books.

10. Never stop reading to her.

But why give up such an important time to connect with each other emotionally? Why give up the chance to read books that trigger good discussions about values and choices and hardships and hope? Don’t stop till she fires you.

11. Read yourself.

Role model. If they don’t see you read, why should they? Discuss what you’re all reading at the dinner table. Institutionalize family reading time, when a parent reads to the whole family. As kids get older, they can take over the role of reader, or the book can be passed around the circle.

12. Limit technology.

There is no way a book can compete with TV or computer. Most kids, given the choice, just won’t choose the book often enough to make it a habit. Before you know it, they’ll have developed other habits for relaxing, and reading will be something other people do. Limiting or even banning screen usage until reading is well-established may be the most important thing you can do to encourage reading.

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How to encourage your child to Read?

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Encouraging Your Child to Read.

  • Read and reread your young child’s favorite books every day. Reading books with rhymes helps develop a child’s awareness of the sounds in our language, an ability that is often associated with reading success in the early grades. If you have ever read “Green Eggs and Ham ”, you will always remember the repetitive refrain, “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am.” Young children also delight in predictable books with memorable refrains.
  • Read books with a variety of characters. All children should have the opportunity to read books with characters that look and speak like them. At the same time, children also enjoy reading stories about fantastic characters, such as talking animals that stimulate their imagination and build on their love of pretend play.
  • Enjoy rhyming books together. Children enjoy books with rhyming patterns. Young children find the use of nonsense rhymes playful and fun. As you read, invite your child to fill in some of the rhyming words.
  • As you read, point out the important features of a book. Before you start reading, show your child the title and author on the front of the book. You might say, “The title of this book is ‘Amazing Grace’. It is written by Mary Hoffman and the pictures are by Caroline Birch.”
  • As you read, point to each word with your finger. This demonstrates to your child that there is a one-to-one match between the spoken and written word. It also draws your child’s attention to the link between the words you say and the words on the page. Pointing as you read also reinforces the concept that we read from top to bottom and from the left to the right.
  • Use stories to introduce your child to new words. Focusing on new vocabulary words increases reading comprehension. You can promote your child’s vocabulary development by drawing his attention to new or unusual words in the story. It’s important to just have fun with these new words and help your child use them in real-life situations. After learning “capsize” in a story, you can point out that the toy boat in your child’s bath has capsized and the animals are now in the water.

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Child language development

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The best way to encourage your child’s speech and language development is to talk with her frequently and naturally.

1) Talk to your baby and treat her as a talker, beginning in her first year. Assume she is talking back to you when she makes sounds and babbles, and even when she is just paying attention to you. When you finish talking, give her a turn and wait for her to respond – she will! When she starts babbling, babble back with similar sounds. You will probably find that she babbles back to you. This keeps the talking going and is great fun!

2) Respond to gestures and words. As your baby grows up and starts to use gestures and words, respond to his attempts to communicate. For example, if your child shakes his head, treat that behaviors if he is saying ‘no’. If he points to a toy, respond as if your child is saying, ‘Can I have that?’ or ‘I like that’.

3) Talk about what is happening. Talk to your baby even if she doesn’t understand – she soon will. Talk about things that make sense to her, but at the same time remember to use lots of different words. As your baby becomes a toddler, continue to talk to her – tell her the things that you are doing, and talk about the things that she is doing.

4) Introduce new words. It is important for children to be continually exposed to lots of different words in lots of different contexts. This helps them learn the meaning and function of words in their world.

5) Share books with your baby and continue to as he grows. Talk about the pictures. Use a variety of books, and link what is in the book to what is happening in your child’s life. Books with interesting pictures are a great focus for talking. Your local library is a great source of new books to keep things fresh.

6) Follow your child’s lead in conversations. If she initiates a conversation through talking, gesture or behavior  respond to it, making sure you stick to the topic your child started.

7) Repeat and build on what your child says. For example, if he says, ‘Apple,’ you can say, ‘You want an apple. You want a red apple. I want a red apple too. Let’s have a red apple together’.From the time your child starts telling stories, encourage her to talk about things in the past and in the future.

At the end of the day, talk about plans for the next day – for example, making the weekly shopping list together or deciding what to take on a visit to grandma. Similarly, when you come home from a shared outing, talk about it.

You can preview our Chinese language development program or Magic Phonic program to apply to your child learning language.

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Encouraging my child’s language development

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The best way to encourage your child’s speech and language development is to talk with her frequently and naturally

.1) Talk to your baby and treat her as a talker, beginning in her first year. Assume she is talking back to you when she makes sounds and babbles, and even when she is just paying attention to you. When you finish talking, give her a turn and wait for her to respond – she will! When she starts babbling, babble back with similar sounds. You will probably find that she babbles back to you. This keeps the talking going and is great fun!

2) Respond to gestures and words. As your baby grows up and starts to use gestures and words, respond to his attempts to communicate. For example, if your child shakes his head, treat that behaviour as if he is saying ‘no’. If he points to a toy, respond as if your child is saying, ‘Can I have that?’ or ‘I like that’.

3) Talk about what is happening. Talk to your baby even if she doesn’t understand – she soon will. Talk about things that make sense to her, but at the same time remember to use lots of different words. As your baby becomes a toddler, continue to talk to her – tell her the things that you are doing, and talk about the things that she is doing.

4) Introduce new words. It is important for children to be continually exposed to lots of different words in lots of different contexts. This helps them learn the meaning and function of words in their world.

5) Share books with your baby and continue to as he grows. Talk about the pictures. Use a variety of books, and link what is in the book to what is happening in your child’s life. Books with interesting pictures are a great focus for talking. Your local library is a great source of new books to keep things fresh.

6) Follow your child’s lead in conversations. If she initiates a conversation through talking, gesture or behavior  respond to it, making sure you stick to the topic your child started.

7) Repeat and build on what your child says. For example, if he says, ‘Apple,’ you can say, ‘You want an apple. You want a red apple. I want a red apple too. Let’s have a red apple together’.
From the time your child starts telling stories, encourage her to talk about things in the past and in the future. At the end of the day, talk about plans for the next day – for example, making the weekly shopping list together or deciding what to take on a visit to grandma. Similarly, when you come home from a shared outing, talk about it.

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Child Reading milestone

reader milestones

Young children begin to recognize familiar words.Your young child may learn whole words that she can see, like STOP signs, before she learns individual letters. Young children may also learn logos and symbols, so, as they pass familiar restaurants, they may point out a known letter, such as “big M.”

Young children learn that stories have a clear structure and specific elements. As your young child listens to stories, he learns that all good stories have a beginning, middle, and end. He also learns to predict, based on the book cover, what the story will be about, as well as what might happen next or how the story will end. Young children learn that there are characters in stories and that the setting (where and when it takes place) is something that a listener would want to know. Your child will enjoy comparing the characters in a book to himself and to other real life people he knows.

Your young child may “pretend” to read. Children who have been read to frequently will pretend to read books to themselves or to their toy dolls and animals, using their own words or phrases from the story. Parents and caregivers may also observe young children incorporating pretend reading into their play—”reading” a recipe as they make a cake or “reading” a shopping list as they put groceries in their basket.

Young children become aware that the world is filled with letters. During the preschool years, many young children will be able to recite or sing the alphabet. They may begin to recognize familiar letters, especially letters in their own names, followed by letters from parents’, siblings’, and friends’ names. Finding familiar letters in their homes, at preschool, or in the grocery store is very exciting for young children, and they will let parents and caregivers know when “I found another big N!” or “Hey, there is the little t!”

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50 ways to teach your child to READ

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Learning to read is not a crash course that kids take and are done with once they can read Dick and Jane without any help. Learning to read is developmental and starts when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them. Below are 50 pieces to the reading puzzle . 50 ways that you and your child can have fun knowing that they are working on early literacy development and learning to love books. This is not definitive checklist it’s a buffet of options to help support your child as they develop literacy skills and become independent readers. Find ideas that work for your family with your child and their current development. Click through the linked items for more details and how to do the activity with your child.
1.Read to your child.
2.Play rhyming games.
3.Sing the alphabet song with them.
4.Label things with their names from an early age.
5.Go to the library even when they are at that loud voice only stage.
6.Have non fiction books as well as fiction available .
7.Tell stories.
8.Have books all over your house.
9.Teach the letter sounds by emphasizing the sounds in words they hear often from a young age.
10.Provide fun and interesting books for them to read.
11.Get a magazine subscription and read it together.
12.Make play dough letters.
13.Play the alphabet game on road trips.
14.Read the mail together.
15.Make a reading nook.
16.Clap out syllables.
17.Make letter crafts.
18.Make reading play time .
19.Notice letters in the environment.
20.Learn about how books work and other concepts of print.
21.Let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore.
22.Leave them notes in their lunchboxes .
23.Play with foam letters in the bath. Use bath toys to make up and tell stories.
24.Make your own books.
25.Play eye spy with letters and letter sounds. ” I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh buh book!”
26.Give your children books as gifts.
27.Make up silly songs together.
28.Ask them to read the pictures to you before they can read the words.
29.Play library.
30.Read the book then see the movie for a family treat.
31.Play with word families.
32.Read books with no words and share storytelling duties.
33.Let them see you reading for fun.
34.Read nursery rhymes.
35.Explore and trace tactile letters.
36.Play listening games.
37.Retell and have your children retell stories after reading them.
38.Ask your child questions about elements of the story as you read with them. This works on comprehension.
39.Read books at lunchtime .
40.Take books with you when you travel.
41.Build with letter blocks or make your own.
42.Do word searches.
43.Play sight word games.
44.Download an e-reader app on your smartphone and instead of handing them it to play a game make it a treat to use it to read.
45.Read comics and graphic novels with them.
46.Talk your your kids using regular words not “kiddie” words.
47.Read them poetry.
48.Get their bodies moving to learn letters.
49.Read them their favorite book over and over and over even if it’s making you want to poke your eyes out.
50.Make reading part of their bedtime routine from day one.

How many of the above have you done?

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Why is reading aloud to your child important?

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You child will be able to hear how reading sounds like when it’s done by an adult, how it is different from his own reading. He carries the echo of the sound in his ear as he learns to read alone.

Even when a child develops enough confidence in himself by reading to his parents and younger siblings, he still needs to hear stories read aloud for him too. The growing independence in reading alone is strengthened by the praise he receives from his listeners.

Reading aloud is a social event, your child learns not only stories, he learns about life, his family, his place in the world. While reading a story, we tend to talk about it and even after the reading is over, we still continue to talk about it. Events from stories can be related to everyday life, reinforcing the story in your child’s mind.

Hearing a story in a group at the library or school cannot compare to hearing a story read aloud to you by your own parent at home. When you read to your children, you are not only teaching them about the material they are reading. You are telling them that they are important to you, that they are safe and secure with you by their side.

All children needs to receive messages like these, to show that you feel that they are important to you.

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Developing a Reading Habit!

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Here are a few tried-and-tested techniques to help get you started:

Before reading a book to your child, read it through once yourself to identify areas you might want to concentrate on.

Point at each word with your finger as you read, and encourage your child to follow along. Even before your child can read, they can be highly stimulated by the pictures they see in books.

A child’s attention span tends to be rather short, so choose simple books with plenty of colorful pictures.

If you are concerned about little hands tearing and smudging books, buy sturdy toddler board books that can withstand some ‘abuse’.

Parents who show that that they enjoy and benefit from reading will set good examples to their children.

Children are constantly imitating adults, so if you make reading out to be a fun and enjoyable activity, it is likely that your child will as well.

Make reading a treat instead of a chore! Don’t just read to your child at bedtime – read to him throughout the day or whenever time allows.

Show enthusiasm and excitement, and vary your reading tone to give characters different voices. Make your own puppets out of household items to use when reading.

Involve your child in the reading process. Let him turn the pages of the book, and give him adequate time to look at the pictures and ask questions.

If your child has developed an adequate level of reading comprehension, ask him simple questions about the story after each reading session.

Most children will have ‘favorites’. Read your child’s favorite books often, and make them available to your child at all times by placing them on a shelf within easy reach. This allows your child to look at his favoriteswhenever he desires.

All children have an innate desire to communicate. Write simple notes and letters to your child, and encourage him to do the same to you.

For children who have yet to master reading and writing, simply let them ‘read’ you their mental notes, and then read your notes to them.

Visit to your local library regularly, and engage the help of the children’s librarian to assist your child in choosing books that are appropriate for his age group.

When he is old enough, obtain a library card for your child. This will help him acquire a sense of responsibility alongside an interest of reading.

By making reading fun, and keeping your child’s reading experiences positive, you can nurture a child to grow into an avid reader, and one who views reading as an enjoyable pastime.

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